By Simran Kaur Johal, January 28 2024—
Annually, as New Year’s Eve approaches, many people embark on creating resolutions for the next year. Irrespective of what these resolutions may be, the challenging part is not creating these resolutions, it is sticking to them and following them through. A common occurrence in coming up with New Year’s resolutions is keeping them realistic and attainable.
People may often get carried away in New Year’s celebrations and set unrealistic and unattainable goals. Therefore, by the time the new year comes, they feel frustrated and just abandon the resolution altogether. For example, I made it a resolution to wake up early and start going to the gym and focus on my overall health. To be frank, the waking up early part didn’t even start until late January, and eating healthy didn’t start until about mid-January. By pushing a lot immediately, I bit more than I could chew and whilst I didn’t abandon my resolutions altogether, it was that much harder to start standing by them.
Clarity is extremely important in having successful resolutions, for that reason, when I knew that I wanted to improve my fitness and health, I set particular goals about that specific category, and in doing that as opposed to creating a New Year resolution that was just “improve my health and fitness” allowed me to do this through small, specific, select goals. A crucial aspect of seeing your goals through is accountability. Part of my New Year’s resolutions this year was waking up at 5 a.m. to go to the gym and exercise, however, exercising at 5 a.m. wasn’t the crucial part of this resolution, waking up at 5 a.m. was. Waking up at 5 a.m. forced me to push myself, whether it be for the gym or it be for myself, and because it wasn’t (and still isn’t) the easiest task to get out of bed at 5 a.m., it focused me and forced me to stick with that goal. I have been continuously holding myself accountable and in doing so I have pushed myself and allowed myself to go to sleep earlier, which contributes to my overall health. This leads me to my next point, celebrating small victories.
The previous example I gave, in which waking up at 5 a.m. didn’t necessarily translate to me going to the gym every morning, is a good example of this. Every day I have celebrated waking up early and getting on with my day irrespective of whether I made it to the gym. Truth be told, there has only been one day to date where I haven’t gone to the gym, but on this day, I constantly reminded myself that it wasn’t anything bad that I didn’t go because I still got up and got on with my day. Another example may be that although I was tired and didn’t have a good workout on a particular day, I still got up, got dressed, and made my way to the gym.
By celebrating the small things, we ease the pressure on ourselves to perform. Overall, the key to making and adhering to one’s New Year’s resolutions comes through setting realistic and specific goals, making these goals with a good dose of clarity, holding yourself accountable, and celebrating the small victories. By doing all these things New Year’s resolutions aren’t some kind of bothersome chore but instead an enjoyable way of pushing ourselves and watching ourselves grow.
This article is a part of our Voices section and does not necessarily reflect the views of the Gauntlet editorial board.